If people didn’t know that something that felt good or tasted good was bad for them, chances are they would do it all the time. However, with time comes experience and all too often we learn that those things we enjoy so much aren’t the best for us; and a perfect example of this is sugar.
There was a time when people ate, and smoked, and drank until their heart’s content that is until our understanding of science and the human body taught us that such things weren’t good. But then people discovered that smoking caused cancer (among other things), drinking to excess led to liver problem and alcoholism, and eating led to obesity and slew of health concerns. However, the human spirit is not to be held down, and thus we created alternatives and one of the biggest and most widely used is artificial sweeteners, a substance that was designed to be as sweet as sugar but comes with none of the health drawbacks. That is what we thought, until now.
From the University of Manitoba, new research has been published that suggests that artificial sweeteners – in what seems a cruel twist of irony – may not only make people more obese but also come with an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
Sometimes more than a hundred times sweeter than sugar, artificial sweeteners are among the most commonly used food additives in the world, and trace amount is even showing up in peoples who report not consuming them. So knowing this, Dr. Meghan Azad decided to investigate further, and her and her colleagues looked at the long-term, effects of regular consumption of sweeteners on a person’s cardio-metabolic health.
Here is what she found:
In 30 of the longer, observational studies, people were followed for an average of 10 years and there sweeteners intake was monitored. In people who consumed “high” levels of sweeteners, it was found that they showed a 14 percent increase in diabetes; a 32 percent increase in heart failure, coronary heart disease, and other cardiovascular problems; and a 31 percent increase in metabolic syndromes.
So what does this mean? Well, according to Dr. Azad, this information should act as a wakeup call for consumers. Perhaps it is time to think about our diets and make some hard decisions if these are the types of foods and ingredients that we want to consume. There is a common misconception that people who consume these foods are making the healthy alternative choice, however, in reality, that just isn’t the case.